For reading. Portrait of Sofya Nikolaevna Kramskaya, 1863
- Posted by Ivan Nikolaevich Kramskaya
- Museum: Tretyakov Gallery
- Year: 1863
Overview of the painting :
For reading. Portrait of Sofya Nikolaevna Kram – Kram. 1863. Oil on canvas
Modernists noted that Kramskaya was always a loving husband and parent. It is not surprising that family members often became heroes of his paintings. To his wife, Sofya Nikolaevna, the painter was warm and hot, having managed to bring love and respect through her whole life, calling her his guardian angel and permanent muse.
The most famous portrait of the artist’s wife is the lyrical canvas “For reading”. The picture refers to the early period of creativity, but here the foundations of the style of an outstanding master have been outlined.
By its nature, the portrait can be attributed to chamber and very personal work. In a relaxed pose, bending over the book, baking her head with her hand, a young woman sits. Her face is concentrated and calm. The author seemed to have a peek at this idyllic picture secretly from the portraised one.
The most amazing thing in the picture is the mood. We do not see the eyes of Sophia Nikolaevna (and they, as you know, are a mirror of the soul), but even from this perspective, such tenderness, warmth and soulfulness is read in the whole appearance of the spouse – those qualities that so admired Kramsky.
To portray his muse, the author chose pastel pencils. It was this technique that made it possible to create that softness, tenderness and freshness of the portrait, coupled with aristocracy and sophistication.
With his beloved wife, Kramsky lived his whole life until his death. Six children were born from this strong exemplary union, two of which they lost in early childhood.